The University Women Development Cell (UWDC) of Mumbai University (MU) has ordered the management of Terna Engineering College,Nerul,to transfer its coordinator for allegedly molesting a woman professor. The members of the UWDC found Amol Chavan (33),management coordinator of the college,guilty of violating the code of conduct. The college is run by Terna Public Charitable Trust,founded by Padamsinh Patil,MP from Osmanabad.
The order passed by the complaints committee of UWDC also stated that Chavan should be removed from his position and not be appointed to any important post in the management or college committee. The complainant,who is a faculty member at the telecommunication department in Terna Engineering College,had on September 27,2011,lodged a police complaint against Chavan. Acting on her complaint,the Nerul police had registered a case against Chavan and booked him under Section 354 (assault or criminal force on woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the IPC. However,Chavan was granted bail the same day.
Chavan said,The management had revised staff salaries in September 2011,according to the Sixth Pay Commission. However,some people who did not benefit or were unhappy with the revision approached the management seeking an explanation. As I was part of the committee,they held me responsible. Even the complainant came to my cabin on September 26; she argued and left. The next day I got to know that an FIR has been registered against me.
Chavan said he was associated with the college for 14 years. Though the college management has accepted UWDCs recommendations and transferred me in May,I still wish to challenge the order. I am taking legal advice in the matter.
The complainant then filed a complaint with MUs women development cell in October 2011. She alleged that around 6.30 pm on September 26,Chavan had called her to his cabin to discuss a revision in her pay scale as per the Sixth Pay Commission. However,taking advantage of the absence of staffers,he molested her and also threatened her with dire consequences if she told anyone about the incident,she alleged.
I approached the university women development cell as I was afraid that Chavan would use his influence to harass me further. He was instrumental in failing me when I had appeared for my ME exam from Terna College. I was declared pass after revaluation. The harassment began after I refused to accompany students to an industrial tour two years ago, she told Newsline.
After probing the matter and recording the statements of the complainant,Chavan and their witnesses,the UWDC passed an order in favour of the complainant. The committee members said they found discrepancies in the statements of Chavan and his witnesses. There is sufficient ground to believe that the incident,as stated by the complainant,happened. This is a case of sexual harassment. The act of the respondent (Chavan) amounts to violation of the code of conduct, the order stated.